There is one phrase of localised parlance that I find myself using a lot. It’s gender-specific, which I like and it’s also very adaptable, depending on the occasion and/or circumstances.
My explanation for this will work much better in an example, so bear with me…
Imagine you were out for a stroll with a friend or family member and you happened to notice a man walking down the street carrying a pig on his back. Instead of saying, “Hey, look at the guy carrying that sow like a rucksack,” I would simply say (elbowing for my strolling companion so as to accentuate my comment), “Yer man.”
For the record, the gender alternative to this is not, as you might expect, “Yer woman,” although that would do in a pinch.
Imagine you were out for a stroll with a friend or family member and you happened to notice a woman walking down the street carrying a large inflatable unicorn. Instead of saying, “Hey look at that lady carrying that enormous, balloon-like mythical creature.” I would simply say (with another one of those astute elbow nudges to accentuate my comment), “Yer wan.”
I didn’t realise that I had adopted this colloquial terminology until it was pointed out by a friend from foreign climes and then, yes, I had to admit, I use yer man / yer wan a lot. It is the brevity of the phrase that I like and also, in terms of implication, it’s a loaded gun. For example…
Imagine you were away on holidays with family or friends and after an especially wild night on the tiles, the next morning you arrive for breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant and one of your friends comes in looking as though he’s coping with the worst hangover of his life. Instead of saying, “Oh dear, Johnny looks like he had a rough night last night – I knew he shouldn’t have been drinking those florescent green shots at 3am.” I would simply say, “Yer man.”
The brevity of the statement often elicits a response of, “what?” whereby you can then launch into a fuller descriptive of Johnny’s present demeanour eg: “Johnny has a head on him like a toucan parrot.”
I further realised that I was using this phrase more and more when Waffle decided it must be a term of endearment. I might be reclining in the living room sipping on a beverage with my sock soles out and Waffle will slink past sporting a new ribbon which one of the little humans had tied onto his collar. Instead of saying, “Oh Gee, Waffle certainly looks dapper this evening.” I will simple resort to, “Yer man.”
More and more Waffle has translated this to mean, “Please Waffle, come over and hop up onto my lap and try and knock my beverage out of my hands.”
At first, the dimwit that I am, Waffle’s affections also resulted in my commenting, “Yer man,” which, as you might imagine, only intensified his attentions. This then resulted in my resorting to, “get-outta-the-road-dawg, can you not see I’m trying to watch Homes Under the Hammer here.”
However, my suspicions on Waffle’s erroneous translations were only fully confirmed during a foray into the great outdoors.
As can be the case sometimes, living in the sticks, the odd stray animal might wander past our house. It could be a dog, a cat, a ewe, a hare or even a sika deer. And as is also often the case, Waffle will go berserk when the wayfarer comes calling. Such is even the case when another human deigns to invade his territory.
However, last week I was veritably stunned to see a pheasant step around the gate and into the garden. She looked like a confused elderly woman who had become somewhat lost as she glanced this way and that, as if looking for something that couldn’t be found.
At the time, I was sat on the front step of the house, about to change into my work boots, when the wayfaring pheasant stepped around the gate. Waffle, as is his wont, was on his haunches beside me sniffing the wind. However, the wind was obviously blowing in a portentous way for the Waff because he suddenly sprang to his feet and started a low rumble of a growl, his whole body pointed like a rifle at the confused pheasant in the garden.
“Aye, yer wan,” I said, absently, expecting Waffle to go full pelt into the pheasant and escort her non-too-ceremoniously off the premises. However no sooner had the words had escaped my lips, that Waffle’s whole demeanour changed and he turned and sprang up onto my lap.
I was taken aback, I don’t mind telling you and what is more, I also sensed a pang of disappointment; a small part of me had been looking forward to the chase.
“There’s a pheasant in the garden,” a little human appeared at my shoulder and remarked.
“I know,” I replied.
“Yer man here,” I nudged the hound, doesn’t seem to mind. He likes ‘yer man’ more.”
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